The Dodgers lagged behind the leaders of the division for much of the season. To many, it appeared that this would be the first time since 2012 that the Dodgers would not capture an NL West Title and at the very least, they would go out trying. But, they rose back to the top and with just nine games remaining in the season, they will look to guard the 2.5 game lead over the Rockies for their sixth straight title.
The Dodgers rise back to the top of the division has been a team effort but no one player has had a bigger impact on the team’s success than Yasiel Puig. The right fielder who was just named the NL Player of the Week for September 10-16 carried his flaming hot bat from one week to the next, picking up exactly where he left off. Over the last six games, Puig has hit six home runs with 12 RBI’s and a batting average above .500. The polarizing 27-year old hit what was arguably the most important homer of the year on Wednesday night in the season finale against the Rockies when he blasted a pinch-hit seventh-inning homer off of Scott Oberg to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. The home run was just Puig’s second as a pinch hitter. Providing the Dodgers make the playoffs, Puig is getting hot at just the right time as a bat this hot plus Puig’s elite defense makes for a valuable October asset.
Yasiel Puig was not the only one helping the Dodgers to a huge win on Wednesday. Matt Kemp hit a big home run and Brian Dozier tied it up with a double. But, the man who really got the job done was the starter,
. Buehler has had an unbelievable year,
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proving he is exactly what Dodger fans were hoping for, an ace. Buehler has made 21 starts this year, his rookie season, and in that span, he has owned a 2.74 ERA, an unreal .98 WHIP and in 124.2 innings, the 24-year old fireballer has struck out 143 batters. On Wednesday, things got off to a rough start but Buehler took no time off in getting back into his groove. He went on to strike out 12 batters, a career high, in six innings pitched.
The Dodgers climbed back into first place at the beginning of the series against Colorado and continued to capitalize on the lead by sweeping the Rockies. The Boys in Blue currently rank first in the division by 2.5 games and with just nine games left in the season, they must do everything in their power to defend it. Aside from a series against the deteriorating Diamondbacks, the Dodgers face both San Diego and San Francisco, two teams below .500 and struggling to keep players healthy. If all goes to plan, this will be the team’s sixth straight NL West victory.
- The Dodgers made history on Wednesday night as they became the first NL team in the history of baseball to have seven players hit 20 or more homers in a year. Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Enrique Hernandez and Matt Kemp were the seven who got the job done. Also worth note, the team is just four home runs away from breaking the all-time team record for home runs in a season. They currently have 224 big flies on the year and need 227 for sole possession of the record.